Thailand touts peace building in bid for Security Council seat

2_UNSC1Thailand’s role in promoting peace and security among nations is an advantage in the Kingdom’s efforts to win a non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council for the 2017-18 term, and should it become a member it would prioritize women’s roles in peace building processes, the Thai ambassador to the U.N. said last week.

Ambassador Virachai Plasaitold reporters in Bangkok that Thailand would continue to pursue actions and policies that build peace and international cooperation whether it is elected to the Security Council or not. The vote is scheduled for June 28. Thailand was last elected to the Council for its 1985-86 term.

Thai officials have put a strong effort into winning support ahead of the vote, Virachai said, and most countries are and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has pledged to hold democratic elections in 2017.

Earlier this year, Thailand was chosen as chair country of the G-77, a coalition of 134 developing countries, based largely on its efforts and ability to build bridges between different groups of countries across the globe.

“Thailand still has a chance to win the Security Council seat since we have played a leading role in promoting peace and security among the 194 United Nations members. We have been very active. But if we do not win, we will respect the results and keep doing our best,” Virachai said.

Aside from the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations elects 10 non-permanent member countries from all regions for terms of two years each. The current non-permanent members include Egypt, Venezuela and Thailand’s neighbor to the south Malaysia.

If elected to the council, Thailand’s first mission would be to “put greater efforts into defining an official role for women in peace-building processes,” Virachai said.

The Kingdom would also use its seat to encourage countries to address problems that affect security at their root, because extremist ideologies and movements that are left unchecked have shown they can create problems beyond a home country’s borders. This can pose a threat to regional development, Virachai said.

To win a seat on the Security Council, a country must garner votes from two-thirds of all U.N. member countries. The fact that Thailand has participated in more than 20 United Nations peacekeeping missions shows that the country has a strong and consistent track record of supporting international harmony and working in a constructive way, the ambassador said.